Fishers and others who work aboard commercial fishing boats often work long hours during a few short months out of the year.

Although many boats have significant amounts of machinery on the boat to help them lift heavy loads, their work is often strenuous. Commercial fishers often stay out at sea for extended periods of time where they find themselves getting very little sleep, being tossed about by rough seas and standing atop wet surfaces for hours on end.

It’s for all reasons that some refer to this industry as one of the hardest ones to work in.

Fatal injury risks

Data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the profession shows that at least half of all fishing workers die when their boat capsizes or sinks. Just over a third occur when workers go overboard. Just over 15 percent of commercial fisher fatalities happen because of poor weather. All but 4 percent of all fisher deaths happen at sea. All but 16 percent have historically involved a drowning.

Nonfatal injury risks

One of the most common reasons workers suffer injuries aboard commercial fishing boats is because they make contact with equipment or other objects. At least one-third of worker injuries occur because of this. Overexertion results in another just over 15 percent of workers becoming hurt.

At least 40 percent of all fishing worker injuries involve them hurting their trunk. At least 33 percent fishers experience sprains or strains.

Despite the fact that fishers often suffer debilitating injuries, they’re also resilient. They historically tend to miss one-quarter less days of work than those who work in other industries do.

Their speedy recovery may be due in large part to how dedicated of care they’re entitled to receive under existing federal regulations. Gulf Breeze Jones Act attorney John W. Merting can advise you as to whether you qualify to file an unseaworthiness claim for your injuries.